“Tell me something good,” I said to my Google Assistant.
This is not a person. It’s a small round speaker to which you can speak commands. Usually, I ask her to play music for me, especially when I’m in bed for the night. And then I tell her what time to wake me in the morning. Although I’ve always known she had more to offer, I never bothered to explore other options.
But last night, when I couldn’t sleep, I was googling random things on my phone and came across a list of tasks you can ask of your Google Assistant. One of them was to ask for some good news.
“Tired of the unrelenting negativity of the news cycle?” the post asked. It seemed a little strange but what did I have to lose? So I asked.
A long period of silence followed my request. Just as I was thinking, “If it sounds too good to be true, it is,” the soothing voice of my Assistant came on with an uplifting piece of news about a remote area that was overcoming COVID-19.
Hearing it did make me feel better. I went to sleep recounting all the good news I could remember.
When the Assistant woke me up in the morning I wondered if perhaps I had dreamed the whole thing. Apprehensively, because I really wanted it to be true, I asked my Assistant once again to tell me some good news and once again she did. It was a different story this time which made me feel good that she had more than one item of good news in her arsenal. Certainly, I was going to be needing more good news.
Then, being who I am, I asked if she could listen to my good news story and tell it to other people who asked for “something good.” As I flipped through my mental file of good news, the Assistant responded, “Sorry, I can’t seem to find that.”
Clearly she wasn’t interested in my story, so I’ll tell you. It’s about how important voting was to my mother. Even at 99, in a wheelchair with her hands gnarled and her eyesight failing, Mom cast her vote. She had me read her the names on her mail-in ballot and told me which ones to mark.
One day as we were working on her ballot, at a round wooden table in the library of her nursing home, one of the residents came over and asked Mom who she was voting for.
“It’s not important for you to know,” Mom replied. “It’s only important that I am voting.”
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